Read letters from Josh and Kim Vis
Rev. Josh and Kim Vis
Mission co-workers in Brazil
About Josh and Kim Vis' ministry
In January 2011 Josh and Kim Vis were appointed as mission co-workers to serve in Brazil. Josh works as a biblical studies professor at the Ecumenical Institute of Post Graduation (EIPG), while Kim stays home with Mahalia, their daughter, and is working on acculturation and language acquisition.
The EIPG is a school well known in Brazil for its academic excellence. It is one of the few institutions in Latin America that offers a doctorate in theology, and it provides many of its students with their first ecumenical experience. The school prepares men and women for leadership roles in the Protestant churches of Brazil. Josh’s primary tasks are to teach literature and languages of the biblical world, guiding students to a better understanding of Scripture. In addition to classroom duties, he works with graduate students as a thesis advisor. Josh aspires to work with Brazilian students as both he and they seek to learn how to be more faithful interpreters of Scripture. He intends to be both a teacher and learner.
Download a prayer card that lifts up the Vises' work in Brazil
Kim is focusing her energy on raising Mahalia in a new culture and in a new language while she explores other ways to serve in the community. The entire mission experience presents itself as an opportunity for personal and spiritual growth. They observe, “We expect to learn much about ourselves, our country and our faith as we encounter a new language and different customs and traditions.”
Brazil is South America’s most influential country, an economic powerhouse, and one of the world’s largest democracies. It is beset by a tremendous gap between the rich, who control the vast majority of economic resources, and the poor, many of whom live in slums. The Independent Presbyterian Church of Brazil has over 95,000 members. Its activities include integral mission (health, education, and evangelization), social work, and social projects (such as environmental work in the Amazon region). The denomination supports two centers for the training of missionaries and three seminaries for training pastors, including the Methodist University of São Paulo’s Post Graduate Ecumenical Institute.
About Josh and Kim Vis
For both Josh and Kim, Christian faithfulness means being willing to leave one’s comfort zone for the sake of the gospel. “We believe God’s purpose for the world pushes all Christians to risk safety, comfort and happiness to serve where there is need,” they say. Josh and Kim see a need in Brazil and have answered God’s call to serve there.
Josh and Kim believe that the global church has much to teach Christians in the United States. They want to play a role in helping U.S. Christians see themselves as part of a larger body of Christ. “Through our experience of the church in Brazil and the Brazilian people,” Kim and Josh comment, “we hope to help the church people we know and encounter in the States to see how their lives are bound up with the lives of other Christians around the world.”
Josh and Kim are guided by Scripture in their call to mission service, particularly by the justice teachings in Matthew 25:31-40 (the final judgment) and by Luke 4:16-30 (Jesus’ inaugural sermon). No matter the context, the application of these and other teachings of Jesus are not easy. “We recognize and have experienced that a radical commitment to the gospel can bring tensions into relationships with family and friends,” they state, “but we are committed to following Jesus.”
Josh and Kim are natives of southwest Michigan. Josh holds a bachelor’s degree in religion from Hope College in Holland, Michigan, a master’s degree in divinity from Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan, a master’s degree in biblical studies from the University of Chicago, and he is currently completing a doctorate in Old Testament from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. He worked as an instructor at Duke Divinity School while completing his doctoral studies. He is an ordained minister in the Reformed Church of America.
Kim earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing and advertising from Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and a master’s in early childhood education from North Carolina Central University in Durham. She has been a kindergarten teacher in Durham Public Schools.
Josh - September 10
Kim - May 14
Mahalia - March 18
I'm in Cedar City, Utah at Community Presbyterian Church. Thank you for the valuable work you're doing. Hope the upcoming transition from tropical Brazil to Michigan winters aren't too much of a shock!
We congratulate you with the newborn baby and pray that everything goes well with you and the baby and hope that you may establish yourselves as Portuguese fishers of men.
Congratulations on the newest member to your family. I am up in Cedar City, Utah with John Guthrie's "flock". John gives us updates on your progress( I pray that the Portuguese language becomes easier for ANY one to learn) God bless your family and the work you are doing. Jane